Congratulations on your new hire! Your inventory software isn’t just some lifeless machine — it’s an automated assistant whose goal is to make your life easier (and make your ecommerce brand run smoother). But, like a flesh-and-blood employee, if you don’t know how to properly manage them, you’re not using them to their full potential.
Inventory software can make all the difference in ecommerce success, but what it can do is not always self-explanatory. So we thought we’d help you out with a practical guide on the more advanced features of inventory software, in particular ecomdash. Take a look below at 5 ways to make the most out of your inventory software.
1. Offer More Advanced Sales Strategies
The union between sales and technology isn’t always a happy one. While ecommerce allows convenient shopping at home and gives niche markets the products they need to sustain themselves, every now and then there is a technological technicality.
For example, it’s difficult to track collections of products, like bundles, kits, multipacks, and two-for-ones. How do you assign the SKUs of these groups? Do you use individual SKUs or a new one for the group? How do you monitor inventory levels and sales data if they’re separate units?
Inventory software like ecomdash anticipates this problem and makes it easy for you to sell packs without throwing off your inventory data (and sparing you the headache of keeping track of everything yourself). That gives you the advantage of more sales and promotion options you wouldn’t be able to do without it.
You can easily group together any products you want — a great technique for unloading dead stock — while simultaneously selling them as individual units too, and the software will update the stock levels automatically for each item.
2. Never Again Miss a Sale from Stock Outs
Automation is ideal for time-sensitive operations, and in retail, that means reordering stock. Inventory software lets you set stock level alerts so that, when your stock hits a certain number, you’ll be prompted to reorder. Set your alerts well, and your new stock will be on its way before the old stock runs out!
The advantage of automation when reordering stock is most evident when you hit an unexpected sales spike. Special circumstances could cause a sudden upshot in demand — but if you’re manually checking stock levels, you might miss it completely before your next assessment and run out of stock when you need it most.
3. Manage Multiple Sales Channels with Automation
In ecommerce, it’s often easier to go to where your customers are rather than convincing them to come to you. That means opening shop on multiple channels: Amazon, Etsy, eBay, or wherever your target customers shop. The trouble with managing more channels is the amount of work in maintaining them… unless you employ the help of inventory software.
Ecomdash consolidates all your channels into a single, centralized platform. For starters, that means everything you need to know is right there in the same place, in the same dashboard, which saves you time searching back and forth for what you’re looking for.
But the perks go even deeper than that. Consider managing the stock levels on all your channels: for every sale you make, you have to update the stock levels on all your product pages. Not only is that time-consuming, but if you miss one, you risk overselling and having to cancel an order — that kind of inconvenience will lose a customer forever. It can also get your account suspended on the marketplaces like Amazon.
Advantages like self-updating stock and similar features like editing listings in bulk are the kind of time-saving magic that automation is all about.
4. Advanced Analytics
No one gives better business advice than your sales data. If you want to know which products to promote, how much stock to reorder, where to open a new warehouse, or how much to price a hot new item, the answer is in your data.
Inventory software collects this information with ease and presents it to you in a way that’s easy to understand and digest. With ecomdash, you can see all the relevant data, including Average Order Value (AOV) and Cost of Goods Sold (COGS), the total cost of acquisition, storage, and shipping, so you know precisely how much to charge. Using accurate sales data is the perfect way to optimize your profits — everything else is just guessing.
5. Use Your Own Time More Productively
The heart of automation is saving time. Inventory software can grant you features you won’t get otherwise, such as access to analytics or reorder alerts, but a large part of its value is taking care of the menial work so you don’t have to. Tedious data entry like updating stock levels or changing your product pages would eat up hours for other workers, but takes no time at all for automated software.
What does that mean for your business? Instead of spending the day doing mindless busywork, you can use your time more productively. Accomplish high-level tasks that involve deep thinking, like launching a new marketing campaign or preparing for an expansion — the kind of qualitative jobs that can’t be automated.
To put it another way, leave the robotic work to the robots and take on something only a human can do.
Takeaway: Inventory Software Intern?
Some companies will only hire someone after a trial period, to make sure they live up to who they say they are. Why should inventory software be any different?
To see just how ecomdash can help your ecommerce company, why not take advantage of our 15-day free trial. No credit card is needed, and you’ll have access to premium features. Click here to sign up for your free trial now!
Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published April 2015 and was updated in June 2020 to reflect more accurate and relevant information.